Reprinted by permission Hummer Company History Harvard Business Review Press. One of the best modern examples of the power of metastory — a story told through action — is Hummer.

During an arc that went from birth to high-volume Jiffy Packaging Company to death in less than 20 years, the product experience itself, from Hummer Company History strictly engineering standpoint, improved steadily.

The fate of the Hummer brand and business had nothing to do with product functionality; its fate was determined by its metastory. A civilian version of the vehicle, long contemplated by AMC, was finally produced in large part due to intense personal lobbying by former world-champion bodybuilder and then Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger laid eyes on his first military Humvee when a column of them drove past a movie set he was on in Oregon. He decided on the spot he had to own one and personally lobbied AMC management for several years until the company finally capitulated and went into production with a civilian version. Triangle Company Tulsa helped him do his personal metastory. Purpose-built for war, the Hummer was a big, tough, expensive vehicle for a guy who was at the time making his living playing big, tough guys in big, expensive movies.

The metastory of the vehicle advanced the metastory of the action hero perfectly. And vice-versa. It was a dream come true for AMC — an unpaid celebrity endorsement by one of the biggest action heroes of all time, which certainly helped to cement the metastory of Hummer in popular culture. Who better to thumb his nose at the tree huggers than the Terminator himself? The original rough-riding, hulking civilian version was renamed the Hummer H1 and GM rapidly introduced two new models based on other smaller GM vehicle platforms, the H2 and the H3.

Both the H2 and H3 were considerably tamer vehicles, Hummer Company History better ride and handling, much cushier interior amenities and even slightly better gas mileage the H3 got 13 mpg city, 18 highway. By GM was selling 30, Hummer Company History a year. There really was only one wrinkle: Schwarzenegger was aging. And as he aged, his popularity as an action hero declined. But Schwarzenegger was a wildly driven person. In fact, he was already planning the next chapter of his life.

Having watched Ronald Reagan move from actor to O Fallon Mo Water Company of California to president of the United States, Schwarzenegger, characteristically, was dreaming big. Now here is where it gets really interesting 777 Auction Company a metastory point of view. Californians love a renegade but California has always been socially and environmentally progressive with, for instance, some of the toughest emissions laws in the country.

The prevailing feeling at the time among voters was that the laws needed to get even tighter. Oh, and Schwarzenegger personally owned seven Hummers. Then, sensing change was needed, he began trying to consciously alter his personal metastory — he took the action of converting one of the Hummers to hydrogen power and began using that symbolic action as a way to publicly advocate for alternative fuels for vehicles.

But as time passed, there was growing awareness that vehicle emissions contribute to global warming and films like An Inconvenient Truth began to win major attention and awards.

Schwarzenegger realized there was a powerful new cultural zeitgeist developing and even he was no match for it. To keep his metastory contemporary and not be seen as a political dinosaur, the Hummers would have to go. Hummer sales peaked in at 54, units. Consequently, fewer chose the brand to help them Senior Moving Company their own metastories. Sales dropped to 43, units.

Inwith the terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico drawing attention to the ugly side of oil and bringing to the fore discussions around energy independence, Hummer sales dropped to a pathetic 5, units. People who drove gas-guzzlers like Hummer were in some quarters openly accused of being unpatriotic. It became a very brave choice indeed to use a Hummer Hummer Company History advance your personal metastory. With sales stalled and no end to high oil prices in sight, GM finally decided to cut bait and began actively looking for a buyer for the brand.

In lateit swallowed hard and shut the brand down. What really happened though is the Hummer metastory ceased to be useful to people who needed a vehicle to tell the world something about themselves. And so the brand died — as will any brand or business that ignores the importance of helping people do their personal metastory. Today, the question you have to ask yourself is not what does your product do? The question that truly matters is what does your product mean, today and in the future?

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